[guest post by Dana]
On Friday, former president George W. Bush was interviewed by his daughter Jenna Bush Hager on the Today Show about his new art exhibit, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy” — which goes on display this weekend at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas. The exhibit includes portraits of 24 current and former world leaders, including Vladimir Putin, Tony Blair, the Dalai Lama, and his father, George H.W. Bush. The interview reflects Bush’s commitment to growing as an artist and the joy he derives from this new-found passion. It is heartening to see how wonderfully relaxed and happy he and Mrs. Bush are. The interview is well worth watching.
Bush also shared a story about their family dog Barney…and Putin.
“As you know, our dear dog Barney, who had a special place in my heart — Putin dissed him and said, ‘You call it a dog?’” Bush recalled.
“A year later, your mom and I go to visit and Vladimir says, ‘Would you like to meet my dog?’ Out bounds this huge hound, obviously much bigger than a Scottish terrier, and Putin looks at me and says, ‘Bigger, stronger and faster than Barney.’
“I just took it in. I didn’t react,” Bush continued. “I just said, ‘Wow. Anybody who thinks ‘my dog is bigger than your dog’ is an interesting character.’ And that painting kind of reflects that.”